Look for the Kansas City Royals - on at 1.85 - to win game two of the World Series at home against the San Francisco Giants.
The Royals had their momentum blunted in game one of this series, but the San Francisco Giants’ starter for game two, Jake Peavy, should give them a lifeline on Wednesday. Peavy faces two substantial hurdles in his hopes for success here. The first is that he hasn’t thrown well in this post-season. In 9 2/3 innings pitched, he’s yielded six walks. This is no aberration when you look at his lifetime playoff record. In 32 October innings he’s offered up fourteen walks. With the Royals being an excellent running team – and one that scraps for runs – the extra base runners will not help his cause.
A second problem for Peavy is his career work against the Royals. In fourteen starts against the American League champs, he’s been banged for ten home runs and owns a 4.97 ERA in 83 2/3 innings. Not surprisingly, the performance of a number of key Kansas City hitters has been absolutely exemplary against Peavy. Billy Butler has a .424 batting average and three home runs in 33 at bats versus the Giants’ pitcher; Alcides Escobar is hitting .409 with a pair of homers in 22 at bats; and Alex Gordon owns a .357 average in 28 at bats.
Combining Peavy’s general playoff ineffectiveness with his work against this Royals’ lineup means he’s unlikely to put up an ace performance. Yordano Ventura, who gets the ball for Kansas City, hasn’t been incredibly sharp in these playoffs (4.85 ERA in 13 innings pitched), but the Royals’ bullpen is stronger than the Giants’, which gives them the edge.
Expect the total runs in game two to exceed 7; take it at 2.00
The aforementioned shortcomings of the two starters makes this likely a game decided by offensive performance. The Giants maintained their hot-hitting ways in game one of this series. They got great production out of the middle of their line up with Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence – two players will great previous success in the post-season – standing out.
While the Royals struggled against Madison Bumgarner in the opener, they can take solace in the recognition they will not face a hotter pitcher than San Francisco’s ace. In fact, Peavy coming up next might be their best chance to regain the momentum that, until their loss last night, had propelled them to an 8-0 record in this post-season.